Since our creation, Evolyst has grown to become evidence-based “technology enablers” to Healthcare Providers, Academics and the Private Sector (knowledge providers).
One of these knowledge providers is the Thoracic Surgery Team at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, who flagged a particular issue with assessing chest wall motion in CF Patients. “It wasn’t a solution we came up with and then tried to find a problem for,” explains Dr Christopher Golby (Managing Director at Evolyst). “We knew there was a problem and we went away to try to find technology that could solve the problem, and then came up with this solution.” Evolyst worked closely with the Heartlands team to develop a low-cost portable imaging system which CF patients can use in their own home.
Clinicians usually measure respiratory function in CF Patients with spirometry tools, which don’t provide information about the movement of the chest. As CF patients, in particular, tend to breathe from their diaphragm rather than their chest wall, this missing data could give healthcare providers important information about the quality of the patient’s breathing, which can be improved through physiotherapy. In order to track the progress of this physiotherapy, CF Patients are monitored in-hospital every six months, which is particularly burdensome as they must, due to the nature of the condition, be kept in isolation from other CF Patients.
Using the same camera technology as Xbox, where each pixel also gives a depth measurement, our imaging tool can produce a 3D model of the patient’s torso, allowing healthcare providers to monitor respiratory motion over time.
Our solution is extremely low-cost: only £5,000 per patient - a stark contrast to the current £45,000 per year, per patient, cost to the NHS. Furthermore, the improvement to the patient’s quality of life is significant. The life expectancy of CF patients in increasing exponentially - by a whopping thirty years in the last forty. Over time, our one-off solution could save the patient hundreds of hospital visits, not to mention the significant savings to the NHS.
Evolyst’s founding principle is a desire to take solutions from research to reality. When we initially announced the development of their Chest Wall Motion Assessment tool, it drew quite a bit of attention from people who wanted to test and to validate the system. Unfortunately, we were faced with an old problem - a lack of the necessary funding to give the project the dedicated attention required to bring the prototype to a state in which it can be tested, validated, and eventually rolled out to patents across Europe. And while the CWMA system is initially offered as a solution for CF patients, it could provide clinical insight on a wide range of respiratory diseases, improving countless patients’ lives.
The winners of this year’s EIT Health European Health Catapult will be decided at the December 2017 EIT Health Summit in London, where we will be pitching our solution to the panel.
Text sourced from the EIT.eu website.